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Connector Magic 



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Connector Magic 

Written By: Steven Robert Cypherd 

SUMMARY 

I have always been a geek. I tear everything apart to see what I can make of it. I just got into 
small robots with the LetsMakeRobots.com starter pack and some Basic Stamps and 
Arduinos. The Let's Make Robots kit is so complete you just stick it together with double- 
stick foam tape and it starts running around. I needed an analogue cable for the infrared 
rangefinder that came in the Let's Make Robots kit. I made my first one. I will show you how. 

I did not find any complete information on the analogue cable I needed. I found bits and 
pieces that lead me to the Arduino analogue and digital cables. They are not perfect, but they 
can be made to work if you know a little connector magic. The wires are not in the correct 
order and the JST connector is too big for the Sharp rangefinder's connector. 

I used to have a connector tool. It looks like a small screwdriver except it is a hollow tube 
and the front half is open. It works by slipping between the wire and the connector body; it 
blocks the locking tabs so you can get the connector out. Anything thin like a pin can block 
the locking tabs too. It does not take too much to play with connectors and make your ideas 
come together. I did find connector tools on Jameco.com under Tools. 



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Connector Magic 



Step 1 — Connector Magic 





Arduino 
BastcStamps 
Picaxe 
Many more.. 




JST 






3 2 



, 



Arduino 
BasicStamps| 
Picaxe and 
many others I 



9 W 1 



3 2 1 



• This is the information I found out about the analogue cable. No one had a complete guide 
as to what number the pins were. The cables all look the same. They are not the same. 



Step 2 




• To correct the analogue cable pop out the Ground and Signal wires of the black connector 
and swap them to match what the Sensor needs. Be very careful not to bend the locking 
Tabs too much or they will break off or not lock any more. A little heat from a soldering gun 
tip or small heat gun fixes the tabs so that they will lock correctly. Just hold the locking tab 
down so the connector is held in place when you apply the heat. The locking tabs are very 
small, but made of fairly tough plastic. 



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Connector Magic 



Step 3 




• This is how to work with JST connectors. 

• I found that the JST connectors are made of tough fiber-ish plastic that does not work well 
with grinders or files. I used a Dremel sanding drum to get the Arduino analogue cable JST 
end to fit into the sensor connector. It was too tight. I cut up a five-contact JST connector 
that fit my analogue rangefinder down to three pins to make this cable. 

• Just pop the contacts out and make it your way. 



Step 4 




• Soldering wires onto the connector 
you have to be careful to not get 
solder on the locking parts of the 
connector. I cut off the insulation 
crimps and then ground everything 
down until it fit into the connector 
sleeve. I only solder onto where the 
wire crimps are. I found it too hard 
to open the wire crimps. You can if 
you want to. 

• Soldering on top of the crimped 
wires makes it too high to fit into 
the connector sleeve. 



Make connectors your own and build your dreams. 



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Connector Magic 

This document was last generated on 2012-11-03 01 :05:07 AM. 



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